19 October 2020

Clock Ticking, Secretary-General Warns, Calling for Stepped-up Push for Global Ceasefire amid Fight to Beat Pandemic, in Message on UN Day

Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message on UN Day, observed on 24 October:

The seventy-fifth anniversary of the United Nations falls in the middle of a global pandemic.  Our founding mission is more critical than ever.  To promote human dignity.  Protect human rights.  Respect international law.  And save humanity from war.

When the pandemic hit, I called for a global ceasefire.  In our world today, we have one common enemy:  COVID‑19.  Now is the time for a stepped‑up push for peace to achieve a global ceasefire.  The clock is ticking.

We must also make peace with our planet.  The climate emergency threatens life itself.  We must mobilize the whole world to reach carbon neutrality - net zero emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050.  A growing number of countries and companies have already pledged to meet this goal.

Around the world, we must do more to end human suffering from poverty, inequality, hunger and hatred - and fight discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender or any other distinction.  The months of pandemic have seen a horrific rise in violence against women and girls.

We must build on progress.  A remarkable global collaboration is under way for a safe, affordable and accessible COVID‑19 vaccine for all.  The Sustainable Development Goals give us an inspiring blueprint for recovering better.

We face colossal challenges.  With global solidarity and cooperation, we can overcome them.  That’s what the United Nations is all about.  On this anniversary, I ask people everywhere to join together.

The United Nations not only stands with you; the United Nations belongs to you and is you - “we the peoples”.  Together, let us uphold the enduring values of the United Nations Charter.  Let us build on our advances across the decades.  Let us realize our shared vision of a better world for all.

For information media. Not an official record.